Gravity

The wind blows
loose sand along
the beach, dancing
over wet and damp 
and pebbles left
by tides and
small children.
Footprints sink,
filling with water,
then melting into the
land as the
birds fly overhead,
curious only for foe
or food.
Hopes float 
on seafoam
and tumble in the
troughs of waves,
borne on Neptune's 
shoulders while we
search the shore for treasures.

-KJ Roe

Overlook

Scalding depths
of bathtub waves
sing of the peace
my body craves
Stars alight
through window glazed
belie the real
that days are crazed
The hopes atoss
the plans awry
and catching all these
tears denied
The burn of touch
upon my skin
now just a dream
the world locked in

- KJ Roe

Let’s

Stars.

It’s the time of year that, if it’s clear, I can look up at them in the morning on the way to work, and again as I walk out to my car to go home at the end of the day.

I can step outside at midnight or at one am, or at four, and breathe deep frozen night air, and lift my face to thousands of diamonds so much more beautiful than the earthly kind.

Each time, I am awed.

Awed by the beauty. Awed by the infinite nature of space and the uncountable stars. I contemplate the virtually unchangeable nature of the constellations, the same for thousands if years, so that the names we call them were given by ancient astronomers.

Yet they are not completely static. Some nights, some stars are visible, while others are not. It becomes a game of hide and seek to find which are out in the open this night, at this time, from this vantage point on the earth. To the novice like me, it is a surprise to see a star appear, twinkling in laughter at some celestial joke, while I stand gaping on this little speck of dirt.

They twinkle and they shine, and they light the way for a soul wanderer who is sometimes a little lost. They look down and watch.

They guide ocean’s captain and road’s traveler.

They whisper endearments in words of starlight and bedtime wishes.

The stars hold wonder and hope in a thousand, thousand pinpricks of light.

Let’s stargaze, you and I.

-KJ Roe

Transcendence

I forget, sometimes, 

what it is to be me. In the bustle
of everyday and the demands coming
every way, I forget how to hear
that quiet voice,
how to just

  relax

into that person who is
soft, and serene, and
vulnerably and wholly at
peace with herself.

The quiet is filled with

    noise

because That Me loves and
needs the voices and
laughter and companionship
of those I love and those
I admire and those who,
bless them, love me.

That Me wants to help and
thrives on participating
and encouraging and
bringing a bit of sunshine
into the world.

   But.

  That Me
   also needs

The hush of sitting in
nature, so quiet the buzz
of insect wings is an
exclamation and the song of
whispering leaves is a
lullaby.

She needs the lapping and
gurgling of water that has
seen
   greater travels
  and alpine meadows
   and has looked down at the

small greatness
of Earth
from a cloud's-eye perch
in the sky.

She needs the caress of
the breeze and the kiss of
the sun and the rain
running down her cheeks.

She needs the strain of
effort and strength of will
and accepted challenge of
lake and trail.

And as her eyes are dazzled by
the color-washed sun
settling behind the hills,

As her limbs stretch in
rebuilt muscle and her soul
in regained tranquility,

My heart beats
in patterns of eons

that transcend

the cry of minutes
and the crowding

rush of days.

-KJ Roe


G[r]o[w]ing

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Distance measures out in
mountains and pebbles
and ocean waves
Heights stretching through
peaks and treetops
and fingers of flower petals
reaching for one last bit
of sunshine
like roots searching ever
deeper in loamy soil
tasting every possible
drop of sustenance
tendrils spread as
moonbeams and starlight
across the heavy
expanse of night
through the thick
blanket of losing

– I look at the stars and wonder,
which will you be?

-KJ Roe

Ascent

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She paused, raising her eyes to the crest of the hill above her. You’re almost there, she told herself as she reached for her water bottle and took a swig. You got this. Her legs had already traversed several stages on this hike – stretching, tired, sore, shaky, ready to collapse, and finally, stronger. She could almost feel the muscles tearing and healing and building as she went. It made her feel tough, as if she could handle anything. As though it didn’t matter if she was the last person on earth, or the only person on the mountain.

Her heart was another matter. It pounded in her chest like she’d just run a marathon while being chased by a bear. Too fast, too hard, but what worried her was the erratic unsteadiness of it. As far as a rhythm, she was pretty sure it was skittering between a bouncy reggae tune, a pounding rap, and the wild pulse of thrash metal. All fine for listening to; maybe not such a good thing for a heart rate.

She took a deep breath. Another one. In-two-three, out-two-three. Willed her body to calm, heart to slow. Practiced some learned-long-ago relaxation techniques. Tried not to think how ridiculous it was that this little hike was so difficult for her. The important thing was that she was doing it. She was facing the challenges she set for herself, overcoming all of the excuses and reasons for holding back.

She had spent too many years in the shadows. Too many days watching from the sidelines, being the cheerleader. She loved the encouraging, the guiding, the helping. She was good at it. But what she’d only partially grasped was that when you constantly encourage others to follow their dreams, eventually you get left behind.

But now.

This was her time. Her turn to explore. To grow, find her horizons. Most of all, to stop holding back.

She turned to look back at the trail she’d been following. The mountain dropped away before her, river cutting a valley through the hills. Trees danced in the breeze that cooled her skin. Snow blazed the tops of the range. A blue sky caressed the horizon, greens and grays and browns of the forest mixing in a grand palette of wild, untamable, glorious nature.

Where she had been was breathtaking.

Tears watered the landscape for a moment, and she grinned in exultation at the sheer magnificence of life and the world. Yes, the trail had been hard sometimes. Life had been hard. There were moments that she wondered what had possessed her to take it at all. But this – this majestic view of her journey so far was definitely worth it. It was more incredible than anything she could have imagined.

A prayer of thanks rose within her.

She took another deep breath, another swig of water, trying to hold the picture in her mind to look back on later. Holding onto the satisfaction of love feely given and obstacles overcome. So many memories to cherish.

She turned back up the trail. Her heart was steady now. She was ready.

There was further to go, and the view would be even better up ahead.

-KJ Roe